Why Runs to the Left Will be 49ers’ Bread and Butter in 2020
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Trent Williams is an instant upgrade to the left tackle position of the 49ers.
That isn’t a slight to Joe Staley. It’s just the fact that Williams should be available for more games than Staley, who was constantly plagued by injuries last season. Now the 49ers should not have to, or hopefully won’t have to worry about an injury-prone left tackle.
But Williams also brings speed to the table, which is something Staley lost as he got older. Williams' lateral quickness and swiftness is going to make him invaluable in the run game because he can get out to the sideline or the second level instantly.
That is why run plays to the left side will be the 49ers’ bread and butter.
Williams brings an energy and solidification to the left side that the 49ers haven’t had for a few seasons. Now throw in left guard Laken Tomlinson, who is a stout blocker in the run. There’s also this guy by the name of George Kittle who is decent at blocking as well. Lining him up next to Williams with Kyle Juszczyk leading the way is just outright unfair. The 49ers could even place Ross Dwelley, Jordan Reed, and/or Charlie Woerner out there to give them some real beef.
All of these players execute their blocks at such a high-level. That is why there were so many wide running lanes for the running backs. It was always an easy three or five yards to gain because of how smooth the execution of blocks were. Having Williams on the left side and teaming him up with Kittle and other aggressive blockers is going to be unreal.
These are all players who have the speed and power to drive their opponent and get to the second level. This is why these players will thrive so much in the outside zone with Williams as the tipping point. Watching it in action is going to have fans jumping out of their seats.
How could the NFL allow the 49ers to have this much talent at the hands of one of the best offensive minds in Kyle Shanahan?
It will not matter who they are going up against or even if the defense knows where the ball is going. The left side of the 49ers is going to overwhelm the opposition.
And should they start to struggle, there is always the option of running counter plays to the left and then exit right. That would make the defense bite hard on that left side while giving a clear backside cutting lane.
There is also the option of play-action should Shanahan see fit. 2019 was already a headache for the opposition to defend against the 49ers’ offense.
Now they’re going to have them pulling their hair out trying to figure out how to just slow down the dominant left side of the Niners.